January 4, 2021
Staff Accomplishment

Physicist Malachi Schram Co-Edits ‘AI for Nuclear Physics’ Report

Document produced following workshop at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Malachi Schram

Malachi Schram is a physicist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

(Photo by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) physicist Malachi Schram co-edited a report on the U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored “AI for Nuclear Physics” workshop held earlier this year at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia.

The March 4-6 workshop brought together 184 scientists to explore research opportunities for nuclear physics in artificial intelligence (AI). The workshop consisted of plenary talks, as well as six working groups.

The 43-page report, published through Cornell University, is intended to serve as a DOE Office of Science, Nuclear Physics program roadmap for future AI applications and as a guide for areas of collaboration between AI and nuclear physics, said Schram. He was one of 10 editors – five from national laboratories and five from higher education institutions – who worked on the report.

“One of the workshop goals,” Schram said, “is to document the status of the current efforts, call attention to noteworthy achievements, and perhaps most importantly, outline future priority research directions.”

“Artificial Intelligence,” the report says, “is a rapidly developing field focused on computational technologies that can be trained, with data, to augment or automate human skill. Over the last few decades AI has become increasingly prominent in all sectors of everyday life, largely due to the adoption of statistical and probabilistic methods, the availability of large amounts of data, and increased computer processing power.”

Among the goals of the workshop were to document the status of current efforts, call attention to noteworthy achievements, and outline research priorities.  The workshop explored ways AI can be used to advance research in fundamental nuclear physics and in the design and operation of large-scale accelerator facilities. Participants also explored what application and research are needed.